In a March 2011 NSW state election widely expected to give the Liberal-Nationals Coalition a landslide victory, Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson is standing as an Independent.
In The Daily Examiner on 26 January 2011:
INDEPENDENT candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson has dismissed claims that if elected he would not achieve results for the electorate under a Coalition government predicted to win the March state election in a landslide.
I rather suspect that Mr. Williamson is being encouraged to focus his energy and spend his money on this bid for the seat of Clarence by none other than certain elements within the Australian Labor Party, who see the possibility of independents winning seats as a form of moral spoiler on the almost inevitable Opposition victory.
Sadly, if Mr. Williamson should win he would be as politically impotent on the cross benches as the current sitting member has been on the opposition benches and Clarence will continue to be ignored by Macquarie Street for another four years. If at the same time he attempted to retain his position as a shire councillor he would also potentially become a political danger to the aims and aspirations of local government in the area.
The best hope for Clarence voters is if they run the ballot count so close to the wire that a narrowly re-elected Cansdell is thought by the Coalition to need buttressing by state funding largesse to keep the seat out of the hands of either Independents or Labor in 2015.